Sri Lanka draws more cruise ships

Dec 29, 2009 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Ports Authority said the cruise ship ˜Discovery’ of the Voyages of Discovery cruise line called at Colombo port as part of a cruise tourism revival with the end of the island’s ethnic war. The cruise line is now owned by UK-based All Leisure Group which is also the holding company of Swan Hellenic and Discover Egypt. The vessel, sailing under Bermuda flag, can carry 756 passengers and touches Colombo mainly on its voyages in the winter season, an SLPA statement said.

SLPA managing director Nihal Keppetipola said improved security after the end of the war has created a conducive climate for a boom in tourism.

The Discovery ship’s call follows that of one by Louise Cruise Lines in recent weeks, he said.

The global cruise industry is the fastest growing sector of the travel industry.

Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka have increased sharply since the end of the war in May when government forces defeated the Tamil Tiger separatists.

Voyages of Discovery was formerly known as Discovery World Cruises.

The line seeks to serve a “soft adventure” niche for travelers who not only crave adventure, but also love the comforts and amenities of traditional cruising aboa